I’m Labor (Samuel H. Friedman)

“I’m Labor” Sheet Music (pdf).
“I’m Labor” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Samuel H. Friedman.
Tune: Harry Mayer.


I dig your ditches: I’m labor.
I man your switches: I’m labor.
I teach your kids and make your shoes;
I sew your pants and write your news.
With brain and brawn, with nerve and threws,
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)
I’m common folk: I’m labor.
I’m always broke: I’m labor.
I run your mails in rain and snow;
I clear the track so the train can go.
But someone else gets all the dough;
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)

I have no say: I’m labor.
I just obey: I’m labor.
I slaved through years of hate and war
And spilled my blood and my brothers’ gore.
But did I know what the shooting was for?
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)
I’m starved and kicked: I’m labor.
I’m always licked: I’m labor.
When I ply my needle, trowel or pick,
I’m a decent sheeny, wop, or mick,
But when I strike, I’m a bolshevik.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)

I don’t get tired—I’m labor—
Or else I’m fired: I’m labor.
From birth to death my life is spent
In hovel, shack, or tenement,
But still some landlord gets the rent.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)
I’m very humble: I’m labor.
I never grumble: I’m labor.
In summer heat or winter gale,
I pack a load or swing a flail,
But someone else rakes in the kale.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)

I fight your fires: I’m labor.
I cleanse your mires: I’m labor.
Your towers that top the mountain crest,
Your teeming East, your bounteous West,
I wrought them, I, the dispossessed.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)
I drill your sewers: I’m labor.
I plow your moors: I’m labor.
On earth, in mine, on sea, and in sky,
I swarm and toil and fight and die,
But capital claims it takes the risks.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)

At last, I’m waking: I’m labor.
My chains, I’m breaking: I’m labor.
Too long, I’ve waited for this hour;
No more to wealth and name, I’ll cower;
I’ll rise, unite, and use my power.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)
I’m done with hoping: I’m labor.
I’m done with groping: I’m labor.
I’ll put to work the boss and drone;
No more, they’ll reap what I have sown;
I’ll come at last into my own.
I’m labor. (He’s labor!)


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